[EM] Free Associations (was: Trees and single-winner methods)

Juho juho4880 at yahoo.co.uk
Fri Mar 23 10:31:40 PDT 2007

On Mar 23, 2007, at 5:00 , Abd ul-Rahman Lomax wrote:

> Setting aside the possible uses of proxies within formal power  
> structures -- which is actual practice in corporations and really  
> ought to receive more attention -- "formal parties," if organized  
> traditionally, have been tried over and over again. They are  
> subject to certain hazards, and ultimately they succumb to them.  
> But hope springs eternal.... hey, let's roll that stone up the hill  
> again.

Are you saying that FAs would not succumb to the old hazards? I think  
it is probable that many FAs would drift towards more formal  
structures, strict leadership and rules (especially if the ideology  
that they promote makes that has a positive attitude towards such  

I don't exactly know if you propose the FA structure to be adopted as  
the main working method or if you only want to keep the formal rules  
(of the political machinery) such that FAs are allowed to operate.  
You used "FA" to name the method but maybe you didn't intend to ban  
the use of more formal associations too. Or maybe the intention is  
just to establish a structure that is parallel (or "sequential") to  
the traditional political decision making process.

I think the goal of keeping the political structure responsive to the  
needs of the citizens and keeping the discussion process productive  
is a good goal (I think this is what you are looking for). There is  
always space to improve the methods that we use to govern ourselves.  
There are people claiming that the system they have or promote is the  
ultimate best system, but probably the ideal system has not been  
developed yet, and possibly never will be.

The FA model (and DP) sets some positive targets and may have some  
positive impact but I'm not sure it would work so well that it would  
automatically lead us to a better future. There are many risks, like  
getting infiltrated with "the old politicians" as soon as it gets  
some power. Maybe there will be trials and fine-tuning of the theory.


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